Over the Rainbow for New Gradient Stripes!

Hi, Knitters,

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I couldn’t wait to tell you that we’re ready to offer four more colors, and  now the Harry-Potter-Inspired House Socks collection is complete!

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Introducing: Brave at Heart. I  Proud crimson stripes with magnificent gold. Whether you’re fighting evil or standing up for your friends, you’ll go roaring through these socks in no time at all! Along with Wit and Learning, Just and Loyal and Cunning Folk, Brave at Heart celebrates the different strengths of magic and muggle folk alike.

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You can tell I’m a geek at heart! The next striping sock set is The Shire: Beautiful, springlike colors evoke the gardens of a peaceful land. Colors slowly change from pale to ripe peach to pale and ivy green.

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The next: Autumn Forest. This was September’s popular color of the month, now translated into Gradient Stripes.  We could never match Mother Nature’s paintbrush, but this is our homage to it. Autumn Forest begins with a cheerful leaf green, before striping to warm chestnut brown, then passing through a brilliant orange to a golden yellow.

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Finally: Over the Rainbow. Rainbow stripes! Yellow, orange, red, hot pink, purple, blue, and finally green stripe with each other. Whoo!!!!

I’m having so much fun creating these new colors and knitting up socks of my own! I can’t wait to see what you all do with them. 🙂

Happy weekend,

Jaala

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New Stripes, New Shop, New KAL

Wow, Knitters,

I’ve got so much that’s new and exciting to share with you! it’s hard to know where to start.

New Shop

First, and very big news to us: we have our own Knitcircus Yarns web store now! You can purchase 100g Gradients, 150g Gradients, Matching Socks Sets and Gradient Stripes Socks right from our site now. Whooo! Big props to Webmistress Cindy for her hard work getting it all prepared for you.

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New Stripes

The new Gradient Stripes socks are flying off of our virtual shelves, and I’m dyeing them up as quickly as I can so that you can start playing with them! We sent many, many packages out the door in the last two days, so if you live nearby, you may have your sock sets in hand soon! More are heading out today because we really want you to be able to knit with them.

New Knitalong

We can’t wait to see what you’re knitting, so we’ve started a KAL in the Knitcircus Group to bring everyone together to share and enjoy progress on their Gradient Stripes socks. We’ll have weekly prizes and surprises, and Webmistress Cindy is putting together a list of good sock patterns to use. Just post progress pics in the progress thread to be eligible to win! Note: if you would like to work the KAL with original Matching Socks Sets gradients, of course you can!

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Webmistress Cindy has already knitted most of her first sock! She knits fast. She’s using a prototype for the Sand Castle colorway that has a little less contrast in the blue section than the for-sale colorway will.

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Susie Anderson’s finished sock so intrigued me that I wanted to try the Tropical Sunset colorway for myself.

Gradient Stripes Giveaway!

Speaking of Susan B Anderson, she’s doing a fun giveaway on her blog right now, in fact, two giveaways for the new Gradient Stripes Socks! She talks about the yarns and shows her finished sock on her video podcast, and has a really creative idea for the giveaways. It’s so fun that she’s doing videocasts now, because Susie’s personality just shines and she’s one of the dearest people I know. I’m so lucky to live near her, but now knitters in far-flung places get to be charmed by her, too!

Bye, Bye, Baseball

baseball

In kid news, Lil Buddy’s fall baseball season wrapped up; unfortunately, he hurt his hand right before the last day of play, but still had a blast with his fall tournament team. What a talented and fun bunch of kids.The World Series starts next week, so that will be the last hurrah. I can’t wait to make the traditional homemade caramel corn….

It warms the cockles of my heart that he still wears my handknits in public; above he’s sporting two-years-ago’s Gryffindor hat. 🙂 Belle has a new hat, a variation on the Valentina I made for her last year, but I haven’t gotten to snap a pic yet.

Happy Friday Pet Pics

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Of course, I couldn’t have a blog post without including some cute pet pics! Sasha and Squeak are good friends and enjoy napping together when they’ve worn themselves out chasing and play-fighting.

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Buppa purchased an early holiday present for Lil Buddy; new ski boots! And Squeak got the box.

New Pattern: Juniper Lemon Shawl

Two new shawl patterns in a week?! This seems crazy! But it’s a happy kind of crazy…

I had such a great time knitting up both this and the Red Sumac Shawl, and hope you will, too.

The Juniper Lemon Shawl was inspired by a delicious flavor of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream I got to try at TNNA. Maybe I should try to track down some more flavors and do a whole series! Multiple tastings would be in order, just to make sure I got them right…

This design was created with some of my favorite knitters in mind, the Silk Crescent and Balm to the Soul KAL knitters; it’s kind of a combination of the triangular shawl construction of Balm with the periodic increases of  Silk Moon to give it a nice, shallower silhouette.

The lace edging uses the same construction as Balm to the Soul, which means that there are increases on each side of the lace pattern. Juniper Lemon begins with one of my favorite knitting techniques, the Garter Tab Cast-On, to make a crescent-shaped starting row. The shawl uses 440 yards of fingering weight yarn, so makes a fun stashbuster.

The Juniper Lemon Shawl pattern is available for $4.50. I hope you’ll join us in the Juniper Lemon Shawl KAL group on Ravelry, for a chance to hang out with fellow Juniper-Lemon knitters and win fabulous prizes, too! The KAL runs from August 15th to October 1st, and you can join anytime!

 

 

 

Knitting Recipes Winner and Sock Update

Winners

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the Knitting Recipes: Hats and Cowls giveaway! Thanks to the wonderful Fickleknitter for partnering up with Knitcircus for that contest.

The winner, Laura, has been notified.The three runners-up, Janet, Monica of Sweetpurls blog, and Rinebird, have also been notified.

Book Cover

I’m so excited: Graphics maven Anneliese just sent me a draft cover of the book!

Woot!

Sport Socks

In sock knitting news, it’s been a while since I’ve posted an update on the Sports Socks: suffice to say, I’m no Yarn Harlot for speed. Those games were nailbiters; I had to look up a lot!

I love the way the Sweetgeorgia Tough Love  in Maple yarn (scroll to the bottom of the SG color page to see it) is working up; it changes colors often enough to keep it interesting, but not so much that it’s crazy. There’s some pooling, but I’m not worried about it at all, since when it’s worn, you’ll only see the top half of the foot. For this sock, I’ve used a Turkish cast-on and short-row heel.

This part of the sock was brought to you by two soccer matches, two baseball games and a softball game. Watch for sock updates hopefully every Monday!

Have a good one,

Jaala

So Much Sock Yarn…

 
If you're getting ready to make the trip to Portland for Sock Summit, doing the Couldn't Foot It Challenge, or just like a pretty sock pic on a Friday:

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This skein of Penny Farthing Sock just came in from Little Red Bicycle–my new fiber-love.  Can't wait to see the rest of Didi's line at Sock Summit!

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Kitchen Sink Dyeworks: yum!

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 Stricken Smitten (shown in the form of Jera Socks).

Have a great weekend, and stay cool!

Jaala

So Much Sock Yarn…

 
If you're getting ready to make the trip to Portland for Sock Summit, doing the Couldn't Foot It Challenge, or just like a pretty sock pic on a Friday:

  Little red bicycle

This skein of Penny Farthing Sock just came in from Little Red Bicycle–my new fiber-love.  Can't wait to see the rest of Didi's line at Sock Summit!

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Kitchen Sink Dyeworks: yum!

  IMG_9223

 Stricken Smitten (shown in the form of Jera Socks).

Have a great weekend, and stay cool!

Jaala

Summertime

The kids have the hose on outside and everyone's enjoying being soaked in the June afternoon sun. Good times, good times. I even made lemonade for lunch.

My mom's side of the family comes from the Old Country, and we've got great genes for toiling stoically through cold winters, big hands for farming, the high cheekbones that go so well with a babushka,  and longevity you wouldn't believe. But we droop in the heat.  Belle played soccer on a hot day, then came home for some backyard kickball, and slumped in halfway through the game with her little face all screwed up.

"My head hurts," she said, and we lay her down on the couch.  Li'l Buddy was in charge of cooling wet washcloths for her head by windmilling them rapidly between soaks. 

When she said that she felt like she was going to throw up, I knew; I'm sorry, honey.You're one of us.

So that being the case, I hate to cook in the summer, and can hardly bring myself to think of eating much besides watermelon. But low blood sugar, kids, and a love of good food bring us back to the table. This book is my lifesaver:

Tassajara cookbook
Pay no attention to the tofu on the cover (if you don't like tofu; the kids and I love it. Though they wouldn't eat the green). This book, from famed Zen Center Tassajara, unfolds dozens and dozens of recipes for picnics, lunches and summer suppers with mouthwatering photos of sandwich fillings, dips, spreads, composed salads, regular salads and generally everything a person could want to eat in the hot weather, including cookies, which are perfect for any time of year. You just get up a bit earlier to bake them, is all.

My mom borrowed this book from the library and after leafing through, I had to have it. While recipes with tofu and tempeh are well-represented, the recipes are fancy and rich enough for gourmands like me and Mike. The first one I tried, Walnut-Artichoke dip, garnered rave reviews from the family and my mom. Toasted walnuts, a whole can of artichokes, olive oil, fresh herbs, mmm. Only I had to know about the protein-packed tofu base.

Kind of thinking I may just open to a random page each day and have whatever's on it for dinner. And the further genius of this cookbook: everything can be made in advance, like in the morning, No need to mix and sweat in the afternoon, just bring out your Bab Ganouj and Red Pepper Hummus and some pita.

Mm.

Pretty Friday Yarn!

We've been getting in some decadent and pettable yarns for Yarn Support; here's a sneak peek at a couple of them:

June posh

Posh Yarn, Elinor Superwash Pure Merino. Soft, lofty and delicious, and just as luxurious as the name implies.

June black bunny 3
Black Bunny Fibers Superwash Merino Classic, color, Liberty Place. Nice round yarn, springy and tender. I